Easy Way to Know if What You Have is a Career or a Job

man in a suit drinking coffeeWe’re all looking to make and earn money, right? That’s the whole point of working 8 or more hours a day, five times a week. But, did you ever ask yourself, “Is this what I want to be doing for the rest of my life?” This raises another question, though it’s possible you haven’t encountered it before, “Is what you have a job or a career?”

Most people will answer this question with another question, “What’s the difference?” Well, let us put them side-by-side, to have a clearer understanding of the two:

An activity someone does to simply earn money. What is it? A series of linked employment opportunities that will lead to lifelong professional goals.
Education or training may or may not apply. It depends on the job post. What does it require? One must develop skills that are necessary in the field he/she is in. These abilities are honed through years of being in the industry.
Risks are external; mainly depending on the economy’s and company’s condition. What are the risks? A career encourages risk-taking to further ones path. Meaning, the risks a professional takes are planned and internal.
Short term. Eventually, an individual will find the job to be draining, and quit. Length of service? Long term. It takes years to pave ones path to a great career.
It depends on the industry and its demand. How’s the pay? Depends on the length of service and the industry. Non-monetary benefits may be higher.
No. As long as you’re capable of doing the tasks, then it’s not necessary for you to love the job. Do you have to love it? Yes. You won’t be doing something for a long period of time if you don’t love it.
Normally, people who have jobs don’t want to take extra responsibilities, because they want more time for their families or themselves. How’s the work-life balance? There are times that home life is compromised because of the demands and responsibilities a career entails.

So, how do you know which one you have? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I like what I’m doing?
  • Am I good at what I do?
  • Can I see myself staying in this place for years, maybe even decades?
  • Am I being challenged?
  • Is there room for me to grow here?
  • Am I doing things that exceed what is expected of me?
  • Do I find satisfaction in what I do?
  • Am I making a difference?
  • Do I want to learn more about the industry I’m in?
  • Am I ready to take more responsibilities?

If you answered “Yes” to all—or most—of the questions above, then what you have is a career—or at least a precursor to one.

As adults, we have to realize that there’s more to life than money. The sense of fulfillment professionals get from overcoming obstacles and succeeding in their fields is such a wonderful feeling; it’s a shame if you don’t experience it.

Don’t settle for a job; aim for a career. Let our experienced resume writers help you in setting your path for a wonderful professional journey. View our resume and cover letter examples to have an idea of what success looks like on paper.



Source: The Third Metric, Diffen, The Simple Dollar

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